Microsoft Surface – Minority Report like interfaces coming soon…

30 05 2007

Surface

Microsoft announced today, Surface, a combined hardware and software solution that provides new ways of visualising and interacting with a computer. Users touch the screen and interact with the interface in a way similar to interacting with real pieces of paper.

Some of the demo’s are fantastic showing off what can be achieved when using such a form factor. What is really impressive is when you place a device on the surface and the interface reacts to it. For example, place a phone on it, the surface detects it and displays ways to interact with it like uploading ring tones to contacts.

Surface2

One of the major uses as I can see for the device is interactive consoles like you find in building lobbies or more and more in shopping centers around Melbourne. Through the use of a token such as a loyalty or ID card it’s possible to bring customised experiences to the user.

All in all it looks a great technology, however I do get the feeling the demo’s show a lot of smoke and mirrors around the interaction with devices. Some of the scenarios such as automatic uploading of ring tones / music tracks to your Zune / files to your PDA would surely need the devices to have some kind of transfer API that could transfer the files seamlessly without the need for any user interaction. Maybe this is where the technology will go to, if it does, it will be pretty revolutionary.

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